MULTNOMAH COUNTY INITIATIVE PETITION PROCEDURES

  1. File prospective initiative petition with Multnomah County Elections. A prospective initiative petition consists of the text of the proposed county charter or ordinance, or an amendment to an existing county charter or ordinance, as well as the required forms that must be completed before filing the pro­spective initiative petition with the county elections official. The prospective initiative petition must include the following
    • Prospective petition - one to three chief petitioners, their signatures, printed names and mailing addresses.  (All must be electors in Multnomah County.)  SEL 370
    • Text of proposed county legislation (including, when applicable, title, ordinance number and charter or ordinance section numbers proposed for amendment). Chief petitioners are encouraged to seek legal assistance when drafting the text of any measure.
  2. Multnomah County Elections Division will date stamp all materials.
  3. Within 3 business days of spending or receiving any money to support the initiative effort file Statement of Organization (SEL 222) and Campaign Account Information (SEL 223) with Secretary of State’s Office. Approval to circulate will not be given until the Statement of Organization and Campaign Account Information form have been filed with State Elections Division. Please review the Campaign Finance Manual.
  4. Elections Director has five business days to issue a written statement as to whether the petition meets the single subject requirement and whether it is “legislation” under the Oregon Constitution.  If it does not qualify, chief petitioner is notified and process ends.  (Petitioner has an opportunity to challenge the decision through the circuit court.  The court petition must be made by the 7th business day after the written notice of rejection.)
  5. Before the end of the next business day after making the determination in #4 above, hand deliver two copies of the prospective petition and two copies of the text of the proposed county legislation to the County Attorney.
  6. County Attorney has five business days to generate a ballot title and an explanatory statement for the voters’ pamphlet.
  7. County Attorney returns one copy of prospective petition, ballot title and explanatory statement to Elections Office, one copy to one of the chief petitioners.
  8. Elections Office publishes notice that an elector may challenge ballot title and/or explanatory statement in Circuit Court.  Challenge period is seven business days after receipt of ballot title from the County Attorney.
  9. Any person filing a challenge must file a copy of the challenge with the Elections Office by the end of the next business day after the challenge is filed with the Circuit Court.
  10. If no challenge is filed, or as soon as a challenge has been adjudicated, Elections Office certifies official ballot title to one of the chief petitioners.
  11. Petitioners present for approval:
    • Signature sheet SEL 371 with caption of ballot title and approved numbering system.            
    • Cover sheet with instructions, names and mailing addresses of chief petitioners and ballot title.  (NOTE: Cover sheet must be printed on reverse side of signature sheet.)
    • Circulator’s copy of the text of proposed county legislation.
  12. After receiving the text, cover and signature sheets from the chief petitioners, the county elections official reviews the sheets for compliance with the requirements for pro­spective county initiative petitions. The county elections official contacts the State Elec­tions Division to determine if the chief petitioners have filed a Statement of Organization. Cover and signature sheets will not be approved for circulation until the Statement of Organization and Campaign Account Information form have been filed. The county elections official reviews the text of the initiative petition to ensure that the text reads exactly the same and is formatted the same as the text submit­ted with the prospective petition. The county elections official also reviews the cover and signature sheets for compliance with the county petition requirements. Once the text, cover and signature sheets meet all of the requirements, the county elections official notifies the chief petitioners in writing of approval to circulate the initiative petition and the Election Office certifies petition for circulation.
  13. Petitioners have 6 months from date of certification in #10 to gather signatures.  The required number of signatures is:
    • For a charter amendment (8% votes cast for Governor Nov 2018) – 30,248 
    • For an ordinance (6% votes cast for Governor Nov 2018) –  22,686
  14. Elections Office has 30 days to verify signatures (random sample).
  15. Elections Office certifies sufficient signatures to Board of County Commissioners.
  16. Board of County Commissioners calls election on regularly scheduled election date (May or November) that is not sooner than 90th day after certification in #15.